Emory’s Short Answer Application Questions, 2019-20


We are pleased to announce Emory University’s short answer questions for the coming application cycle.

In addition to your Personal Statement, please answer two (2) of the prompts below. Choose one prompt from the “Reflections” category and one prompt from the “Tell us about you” category.

We encourage you to be thoughtful and not stress about what the right answer might be. We simply want to get to know you better. Each response should be no more than 150 words.

 “Reflections” Category: Respond to one of the following.

  1. Share about something you want to bring from your community to the Emory University community.
  2. Share about a time when you questioned something that you believed to be true.
  3. Emory University’s shield is a crossed torch and trumpet representing the light of learning and the proclamation of knowledge. It symbolizes our mission to impact the world through discovery. What truth or knowledge do you want to see shared?

“Tell us about you” Category: Respond to one of the following.

  1. Which book, character, song, or piece of work (fiction or non-fiction) represents you, and why?
  2. If you could witness a historic event first-hand, what would it be, and why? 
  3. If asked to write a 150-word tweet to tell the world who you are, what would you say? (Yes, the actual Twitter character limit would likely be shorter than 150 words, but thanks for indulging us.)

For advice on answering both the short answer prompts as well as the application personal statement, check out Part 1 in the series we ran last September called Strong Personal Statements (read Part 2 herePart 3 herePart 4 here, and Part 5 here). We share some of last year’s standout personal statements from students who enrolled at Emory University. Be sure to read the writing advice that we got directly from the counseling team here at Emory. We hope you find it helpful! You will see this series again in the fall with new examples of some of our favorite personal statements, so stay tuned!

We look forward to getting to know you better through your application. Enjoy the process, and feel free to post any questions or comments below.


Don’t hesitate to connect with us by posting a comment to this blog, tweeting us @emoryadmission, or emailing us at admission@emory.edu. We look forward to hearing from you!



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  1. Rebecca Goodwin

    Hi! Could you advise when the Common App will update their prompts and deadlines for applications for Fall 2020? As I am looking at it now, it only has the deadlines for Fall 2019 applications and has four different prompts for the short answer questions than the ones provided here. Thanks!

  2. Alonso Arana

    Hey! I had a question. When I read the essays in the five part series, I couldn’t help but notice that the word count exceeded the 150 word cap that was set for the essays released. I was wondering what was the “rule” surrounding that.

    1. Author
      Jessica Miller

      Hi Alonso,
      Thanks for your question and good for you for thinking ahead about your essays. The 150-word limit applies to the short answer question response part of the Common App and the Coalition App. Most applicants will write 2 short response essays and 1 personal statement which has a much longer word limit. I know gathering all the information to complete your application can be difficult, but I’ve provided links to our blog posts about the two types of essays below. You’ll find we have provided examples and advice for writing for your application. Good luck!
      Short Answer Questions – These were just released in June!
      Personal Statement – Look for the newest series to come out this fall.

      1. Alonso Arana

        Great to know! Then, I would also like to know if the personal statement has a certain prompt and if it has been released yet?

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